Community Vibrancy

What's Happening?

Simon Fraser University (SFU) is working with MODUS Planning, Design and Engagement to develop an SFU Burnaby Community Vibrancy Playbook that will roll out a vision for the Burnaby Mountain campus and community to identify near and longer-term initiatives.

The Vibrancy Playbook will provide direction towards the continuation of a welcoming, inspiring and animated campus where all feel a sense of belonging. Rooted in SFU’s values and priorities, the playbook will consider the built and natural environment as well as community connections with an eye towards creating a climate where all can flourish. The deliverable will be a graphically rich and inspirational document reflecting the input of the community.

Project Background

After over a year and a half of remote teaching and learning, September 2021 will see the return of campus life atop Burnaby Mountain.

As part of this welcome back, SFU will roll out its vision for Community Vibrancy through a graphically-rich, visually compelling and inspirational playbook document.

This vision will be brought together through meaningful engagement with students, faculty, staff, alumni and the UniverCity community.

It will create a simple, inspiring roadmap to enhance campus spaces and activities on Burnaby Mountain, and continue to make SFU Burnaby an exceptional place to study, work, and live.

Building Upon and Connecting to Existing Plans

The playbook will build upon foundational documents such as the Student Experience Initiative reports, the SFU Burnaby 2065 Campus Master Plan (which primarily considered infrastructure and built form), the Walk This Path With Us ARC report and the Academic Plan 2019 -2024. It will also build upon existing capital projects (including the First People’s Gathering House, Art Museum, Strand Lot Redesign), existing programming and the potential gondola project as part of its vision.

Guidance will also be taken from the vision and priorities set out by President Joy Johnson, specifically focusing on student learning experiences, working towards reconciliation, and advancing equity, diversity and inclusion.

The playbook will also consider priorities such as wellness, arts and culture, sustainability, resilience, and technology.

Project Timelines And Milestones

The SFU Burnaby Community Vibrancy Plan will take place in four phases:

Phase 1, which sets the groundwork for the project through the development of a detailed engagement strategy, preliminary stakeholder sessions and background research, is now complete.

Phase 2 includes stakeholder consultation, online engagement, and a series of workshops. The input received during these consultation events will be consolidated into an interim report. This phase is almost complete.

Phase 3 includes additional stakeholder consultation, online engagement, and a series of workshops to expand and include more groups and their voices in the plan. We will be revising the interim report to include this additional feedback. This phase will take place between September and November 2021.

Phase 4 will see the finalization of the plan. The playbook will be completed by year end 2021

What We Have Heard

Engagement activities throughout Phases 1 & 2 are summarized in the diagram on the right.

We have used the input gathered to develop interim Guiding Principles and Pillars of Action. During the workshops, a graphic facilitator attended and captured some of the big ideas shared by participants.

Quick Start Actions

From what we have heard, here are initiatives that we are working on for Fall 2021:

  • Pop Up Patios
  • Public Pianos
  • Ping Pong Tables
  • Chalk Art
  • Protected Bike Lanes
  • UniverCity Neighbourhood Park
  • Cultural Performances – SFU ArtsLIVE
  • Colourful Urban Furniture
  • Orientation Scavenger Hunt
  • Picnic Tables
  • Outdoor Hydration Stations
  • Community Fridge
  • Bike Lockers


Project Governance

This project is being managed by a Working Group with input from an Advisory Group. The Working Group meets weekly and oversees the progress of the project, supported by MODUS Planning, Design and Engagement. The Advisory Group meets with the core project team at strategic intervals to provide input and oversight.

Advisory Group Members

1.     Student Services

    o   Tracey Mason-Innes – Executive Director, Student Affairs

    o   Annette Santos – Director, Student Engagement and Retention

    o   Victor Thomas – Director & Head Chaplain: Multifaith Centre

    o   Kim Mortreuil – Associate Director, Residence Life for Residence & Housing

    o   Theresa Hanson – Senior Director, Athletics and Recreation

    o   Mitch Stoddard – Director, Centre for Accessible Learning

2.     VPA – Catherine Stoddard, Executive Director

3.     Arts & Cultural - Michael Boucher, Director Cultural Programs & Partnerships, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts

4.     Ceremonies & Events – Gloria Chu, Director

5.     Human Resources - Rosie Dhaliwal, Specialist, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion,

6.     SFU Sustainability – Candace Leroy, Executive Director

7.     Office for Aboriginal Peoples – Gary George, Officer for Community Relations

8.     UniverCity Community Association – Taylor Mammel, President

9.     University Trust – Dale Mikkelsen, Chief Operations Officer

10.   FIC – Sharla Reid, College Director & Principal

11.   Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) – Jess Dela Cruz, VP Events & Student Affairs

12.   Graduate Student Society (GSS) - Gloria Li, Director of Student Life

13.   SFU Disability and Neurodiversity Alliance – Serena Bains, Health Sciences undergraduate student (also SFSS VP University and Academic Affairs, Undergraduate Student Representative on SFU Senate & BoG, Re-Use for Good Accessibility Liasion and SFU Sustainability Office)

14.   Alumni Relations – Nicole Dorrsers, Executive Director

15.   Ancillary Services – Sid Mehta, Senior Director

Working Group Members

1.      Alex Pappas, Business Analyst, Integrated Planning & Analysis, Facilities Services

2.      Ayumi Orgar, Finance Manager, Ancillary Services

3.      Gerald Gongos, Senior Project Manager, Campus Planning and Development Facilities Services

4.      Khanh Linh Doan, Beedie Business Student (working as a Co-op student)

5.      Krystal Ness, Client Services Supervisor, Operations, Facilities Services

6.      Laura Kohli, Director, Communications & Marketing, VPFA

7.      Laya Behbahani, Director Student Experience Initiative, Office of the Vice-President, Academic

8.      Mark McLaughlin, Chief Commercial Services Officer, Ancillary Services

9.     Molly Steeves, Senior Planner, Modus

10.   Robert Barrs, Principal & Senior Planner, Modus

If you have any other questions, contact Mark McLaughlin, Chief Commercial Services Officer at


MODUS is a Vancouver-based consulting firm specializing in planning, urban design, and public engagement. MODUS tackles tough problems to help communities and developers navigate the transition to sustainability, resilience and livability. Their approach is rooted in process excellence, creative urban design, and a razor-sharp focus on implementation. They work closely with clients and communities in order to draw out our collective insight and create a lasting legacy of healthy, sustainable projects and communities.